Bookworm Beat 4/18/17 — a potpourri of interesting, random stuff
Here’s a down-and-dirty Bookworm Beat that’s still replete with things to entertain and inform.
I’d meant to blog more today, as well as to clean my office, but I had a sick dog and that took both my time and my attention. All is well with the dog — it’s a long term problem and we’re doing maintenance care.
And now for some quick links:
Gadzooks! It’s Gorsuch: Last week, when Neil Gorsuch was confirmed, Myron Magnet wrote a much-read article about the revolution his ascension to the Supreme Court represents:
Suppose, now that Gorsuch has been confirmed and sworn in, it understood and intended to overturn the administrative state’s usurpation of the Constitution. Suppose, moreover, that it understood the promiscuous lawlessness with which the justices have been making laws out of thin air for half a century and more—claiming some vague basis in the Bill of Rights or the Fourteenth Amendment—and resolved to end that abuse, exercising only judgment, not will. Suppose President Trump got to appoint one more justice in the Gorsuch and Scalia mold, creating an irresistible majority that upheld Madison’s original Constitution instead of Wilson’s “living” one.
Magnet’s dream may well be in the process of being realized. How do I know? Because of the manic, fevered emanations from the Left after Gorsuch’s first official appearance on the bench, all stating that Gorsuch is a mentally-disabled moron wrongfully occupying Merrick Garland’s seat. They’re terrified:
After his startlingly humiliating performance during his first day on the bench yesterday, it’s possible his earlier reticence to answer the Senators’ questions was because he didn’t understand them. As it turns out, Gorsuch is a simpleton with almost childlike understanding of the law – and the existing Justices on both sides of the spectrum already seem to have concluded he’s an idiot.
In fact, Gorsuch was pointing out that the answer lies in actually reading the statutory language — and he was embarrassing those attorneys who were trying to make things complicated in hopes of getting a ruling that allows agencies to make their own laws. (I’ve lost my link for this, but I’ll fill it in as soon as I find it.)
If Dennis Prager is happy, I’m happy. Everything Dennis Prager says about the political and moral clarity of the last two weeks . . . I agree:
2. The terrible presidency of Barack Obama is beginning to be acknowledged.
Following President Trump’s order to attack Syria about 63 hours after the Syrian regime seemingly used chemical weapons, even many in the mainstream media couldn’t help but contrast his prompt response with Obama’s nonresponse to Assad’s use of chemical weapons in 2013. And almost every report further noted that Obama failed to do anything after having promised that he would regard the use of chemical weapons by Assad as crossing a “red line.”
Likewise, Obama’s do-nothing policies vis-a-vis North Korea are being contrasted with Trump’s warnings to leader Kim Jung Un about further testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles and pressure on China’s leaders to rein in the North Korean regime.
These contrasts are important for a number of reasons, not the least of which being there is now hope that Obama’s star will dim as time goes on.
This will come as somewhat of a surprise to those on the left, but many of us who are not on the left believe that Obama did more damage to America than any previous president — economically, militarily and socially.
If Scott Adams is happy, I’m happy. Scott Adams has also noticed that there’s nothing left for the Left to complain about other than private taxes being kept private:
How’s everything else looking?
The economy? Looking good.
North Korea? Looks like China is on our side. Good sign.
Syria? Those Tomahawk missiles were downright “Presidential”
Illegal Immigration? Already down 70% from Trump’s persuasion alone.
Supreme Court? Gorsuch is respected and qualified, even if you don’t like his ways.
Healthcare? No one said it would be easy, but the focus and energy are in place to get something done eventually.
The truth is that the world is better when America polices it. At least, that’s what Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry thinks:
Here’s the thing: Whether you like it or not, America is the world’s lone superpower, and its military dominance over the rest of the world has, despite all its flaws, produced an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. The phrase “world policeman” is usually taken as a pejorative, but it is actually extremely apt: A policeman should not be a nanny or a busybody, but, by god, if he sees a thug punching a grandmother, he should intervene. It is actually the antithesis of that other pejorative word, “empire.” In political theory terms, a policeman enforces a minimal rule set — what you must not do — whereas an empire enforces a maximal rule set — what you must do. A world empire would be a disaster, but a world policeman is a wonderful thing. And since there are no other credible candidates, America — meaning President Trump — must be it.
Proof that the fizzle’s gone out of the Russiagate farce. Michiko Kakutani, of the New York Times , reviews Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, the instant bestseller about Hillary’s disastrous campaign. Kakutani pulls no punches when it comes to just how bad Hillary really was:
In fact, the portrait of the Clinton campaign that emerges from these pages is that of a Titanic-like disaster: an epic fail made up of a series of perverse and often avoidable missteps by an out-of-touch candidate and her strife-ridden staff that turned “a winnable race” into “another iceberg-seeking campaign ship.”
It’s the story of a wildly dysfunctional and “spirit-crushing” campaign that embraced a flawed strategy (based on flawed data) and that failed, repeatedly, to correct course. A passive-aggressive campaign that neglected to act on warning flares sent up by Democratic operatives on the ground in crucial swing states, and that ignored the advice of the candidate’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, and other Democratic Party elders, who argued that the campaign needed to work harder to persuade undecided and ambivalent voters (like working-class whites and millennials), instead of focusing so insistently on turning out core supporters.
For me, though, the best paragraph was this one, which downgrades Russiagate from a scandal to a “meddle”:
There was a perfect storm of other factors, of course, that contributed to Clinton’s loss, including Russian meddling in the election to help elect Trump; the controversial decision by the F.B.I. director, James Comey, to send a letter to Congress about Clinton’s emails less than two weeks before Election Day; and the global wave of populist discontent with the status quo (signaled earlier in the year by the British “Brexit” vote) that helped fuel the rise of both Trump and Bernie Sanders.
Pretty soon, it will be an “issue” or a “hitch,” and then we won’t hear about it anymore.
If you want real hacking and scandal, go to France. I’m deeply ambivalent about Marine Le Pen. She understands the Islamic threat and recognizes that the EU is not helping things. However, she is her father’s daughter and her recent denial of France’s enthusiastic participation in the Holocaust was disturbing to say the least. Nevertheless, the French establishment’s election hacking against her is going to come back to haunt it (hyperlinks omitted):
Half a million people received duplicate polling cards in the post, which would allow them to cast two votes at the first round of the election, held on April 23.
French authorities confirmed they would not be investigating the potential electoral fraud until AFTER the election, when retrospective prosecution may take place.
This could crush Ms Le Pen’s dreams of surging to power, as most French nationals living outside of their country are not right wing – demonstrated by the fact many feel they depend on the European Union (EU) to guarantee their stay in foreign countries.
France’s Interior Ministry has said it will not be invalidating the election because of the duplicate voting glitch, but with Bloomberg’s latest poll currently showing Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen polling at 22.8 per cent, and far left Mr Melenchon at 18.3 per cent, it is possible an extra 500,000 votes either way could swing the balance of power.
As long as Europe ignores deadly antisemitism, we need a strong America. Even as Trump works hard to bring America up, the rest of the Western world continues its decline. Daniel Greenfield writes in heart-wrenching terms about the anti-semitic murder of an elderly Jewish woman and, worse, of the French establishment’s deliberate effort to ignore it:
Sarah Lucy Halimi was thrown out of the window of the third floor Paris apartment while she begged her Muslim killer to spare her life.
The 66-year-old director of an Orthodox Jewish nursery was woken from her sleep when she was violently beaten by her twenty something Muslim neighbor who then dragged her to the window.
She died on the street outside the building where she had lived for thirty years.
The killer had allegedly shouted, “Allahu Akbar”. In the tragic comedy of denial that every Islamic terrorism investigation inevitably becomes, the authorities are still hunting around for his motive.
The media claims that her Muslim killer, like every other Muslim terrorist in the past two years, was mentally unstable. According to official reports, he was incoherent. According to other accounts, he told the police that he had followed the commands of the Koran. He certainly would not have been the first.
The street where Sarah Lucy’s broken body lay was the Rue de Vaucouleurs. It’s close to Belleville, a neighborhood whose name means “Beautiful town”, but which is better known these days as one of France’s “Zones Urbaines Sensibles” or “Sensitive Urban Zones.”
Funny how reading the Koran makes people go insane and become psycho killers against Jews, Christians, and Hindus.
I find myself in complete agreement with a gay pornographer. I’m not usually in complete agreement with gay pornographers. Or even in incomplete agreement. But I am when the gay pornographer says this:
I am referring to the Muslim world. To the world of Islam. We will not be able to change them but we have to protect our world and our way of life as vigorously as they protect their way of life. And yes immigration is a problem. Yes, on the left this is a very unpopular opinion. If we are taking (refugees and immigrants) we should not take from the pool of people that is so hostile to us. You know, people, they’re saying on the left, well, bring them here and they will enjoy our freedom and they will embrace gays. No, stay there, learn how to love gays and then come here.
But with all seriousness, Muslim immigration is a problem. They come here, they lobby, they bring hate. And that is not the right pool of people we should be taking from. That is very unfortunate but it would be terrible for refugees and it would be terrible for us because there will be a lot of hate. People don’t want really refugees from Muslim countries because it is such a different culture that will collide with our culture. They will radicalize much faster here and that is why I am very much against this immigration.
Check out his other astute observations — and pray that more gays figure out that they have met the enemy, and it’s not us. It’s Islam.
Demographics, demographics, demographics. Mark Steyn beats his familiar drum, this time with the final turn of the key on an entirely Islamic Turkey. If we’re not going to out-breed them, we’d better be ready to outfight them. Otherwise, they are the Borg. Resistance is futile and we will be killed or absorbed.
United wasn’t the only bad actor. United Airline’s policy’s are reprehensible, the way it treats customers is abusive, and it was stupid. But I continue to say that Dao was no better. I certainly wouldn’t have been willing to be on a flight with a mad man. Neither would this pilot’s wife.
The college Left has blood on its hands. After a kangaroo trial at a college following an unsupported claim of “gay hate,” with an outcome that threatened to destroy his career. Thomas Klocke killed himself. This will not be the first victim of a bloody regime.
It’s San Francisco, stupid! Jason Whitlock had a brilliant insight: the reason the Left is going even wackier than ever before is because social media has moved Leftism from New York to San Francisco. And no matter how bad New York was when it came to Leftism, San Francisco was always worse: and now its Leftist young techies are driving the media and everything else before them:
The entire media has moved far left. The media used to cater to New York, the hub for traditional liberal values. Journalists used to be obsessed with working at a New York magazine or newspaper or TV network. Now the entire industry is obsessed with going viral and how words will be received via social media. Who determines this? San Francisco/Silicon Valley, the hub for revolutionary, far-left extremism, the home base for Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook’s employee base is from the area. New York and San Francisco are distinctly different. San Francisco is driving the American media, not New York. You have young, microwaved millionaires and billionaires reshaping the American media in a way that reflects San Francisco values. This is a major story the mainstream media ignore. San Francisco hacked the media. Frisco-inspired clickbait is the real fake news.
A wise mother says “stop labeling my child.” In an increasingly rare moment of sanity, the New York Times published an opinion piece from a mother who says, let my tomboy daughter be an individual, not a label, a category or a cause:
She is not gender nonconforming. She is gender role nonconforming. She does not fit into the mold that we adults — who have increasingly eschewed millenniums-old gender roles ourselves, as women work outside the home and men participate in the domestic sphere — still impose upon our children.
Left alone, would boys really never wear pink? (That’s rhetorical — pink was for decades considered a masculine color.) Would girls naturally reject Matchbox cars? Of course not, but if they show preferences for these things, we label them. Somehow, as we have broadened our awareness of and support for gender nonconformity, we’ve narrowed what we think a boy or a girl can look like and do.
Having written those brave words, the mother then goes all “gender non-conforming” supportive, but I forgive her because she made such an important point.
This should make you laugh. If it doesn’t make you laugh, please, cheer up! Then watch it and laugh: